Prenuptial Lawyers in Fort Mill, SC — Securing Your Financial Future Through Proper Marital Planning
A ton of work typically goes into planning a wedding. And even if a couple opts for a simple ceremony at the courthouse, important issues like name changes, adoption, combining finances, and other matters still have to be ironed out. Unfortunately, far too many people forget to plan for the potential that a marriage will end. Either through death or divorce, there are important decisions that you don’t want left up to the courts. A prenuptial lawyer in Fort Mill, SC can help you avoid this and similar outcomes.
At Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, our dedicated team of family law attorneys are committed to helping you plan for now and in the future. While discussing a prenuptial agreement may seem like a quick way to derail a relationship, this is far from the case. Use of these marital contracts has increased fivefold over the past few years. There’s nothing wrong with planning for the potential of divorce — no matter how far-fetched it may seem now. Contact our law firm today to discuss your options during a confidential consultation.
What Is a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement — also known as a premarital agreement, prenup, marital agreement, and antenuptial agreement — is a contract that a couple signs prior to “tying the knot.” Under state law, these contracts can dictate how property, assets, and debts are divided in the event of a divorce. If you’ve had a previous relationship end in divorce, you know how difficult things can become. By having a prenuptial agreement in place before you get married, you can avoid many of the common issues experienced during divorce. Put simply, you’re making some of the most important decisions before things can get heated.
While an antenuptial agreement in South Carolina can dictate many issues that could come up during a divorce, these contracts cannot decide everything. For instance, our state does not allow child support and child custody decisions to be spelled out in an agreement. That’s because these decisions are typically made based on the best interests of the child. It’s impossible to know what these interests will be in the future, so any provisions involving such legal issues will be invalid if included in a prenup. However, nearly anything else — from asset division ratios to defending your own business interests — can be included.
What Are the South Carolina Requirements for Prenuptial Agreements?
If you’re considering signing a prenuptial agreement in South Carolina, it’s important to remember that there are various requirements that must be met. This is why it’s important to have a prenuptial lawyer in Fort Mill, SC on your side. Experienced legal representation can ensure that your contract is valid. Because if a judge finds certain provisions or even the entire agreement invalid, it will not be worth the paper it’s written on. Here are the basic requirements to create a prenup in our state:
- The marriage must occur. If the couple calls off the wedding, the contract is invalid.
- The agreement must be reasonably fair to both parties.
- The agreement must be signed voluntarily by both parties.
- Both parties must provide a full disclosure of their assets and liabilities.
- Each spouse must have a fairly accurate picture of their partner’s financial situation.
- The terms of the agreement cannot promote divorce.
If these conditions are met, courts will typically divide assets as specified in the prenuptial agreement. This means that the marital estate — which would typically be divided equitably — will be divvied up in a manner agreed to ahead of time. This is particularly important in South Carolina since anything from the length of your marriage to infidelity could affect how property gets divided. Remember, it’s an equitable distribution state — not an equal distribution state. In a best-case scenario without a marital contract, you and your partner will be able to reach an amicable agreement if you ever decide to get divorced.
However, this is a big risk to take when your financial future is involved. Speak with a prenup lawyer in Fort Mill, SC to learn more about protecting yourself.
Why Should You Hire a Family Law Attorney?
Do you know the difference between marital and separate property in South Carolina? Do you know what happens to a family business if both spouses are owners at the time of divorce? Are you aware of what constitutes “reasonably fair” and what provisions on spousal support, property division, and other matters could render your antenuptial agreement invalid? If the answers to these questions are “no,” you’re not alone. Dealing with almost any legal issue can be difficult without having a legal professional on your side. However, your situation can become even more complicated due to the complexity of marriage and divorce law in South Carolina.
As such, we recommend you work with someone who has been practicing law for a while. When choosing an attorney, though, we suggest hiring a family law professional. These lawyers have experience in all issues related to family law, and this is important since many of these matters can arise during a divorce. And if something can become an issue during a divorce, there’s a good chance it can be accounted for in a premarital contract. Our Fort Mill, SC prenuptial agreement lawyers have the experience necessary to help you create a comprehensive and valid contract that will hold up in court.
What Can Make a Prenuptial Agreement Invalid in South Carolina?
If a prenuptial agreement doesn’t meet the basic requirements discussed earlier, there’s a good chance that it may not be enforced. The “reasonably fair” requirement is especially important to consider due to its subjective nature. For instance, a judge could throw out a spousal support provision that requires no alimony be paid if they feel that the target spouse would be unable to care for themselves.
Fortunately, not all invalid provisions in the agreement will invalidate the entire contract. For instance, decisions on child support would simply be ignored while the remainder of the agreement could hold up. However, there are certain matters that could invalidate everything. For instance, a prenup could be thrown out entirely if one spouse hid significant financial issues from the other. Additionally, any violations of contract law (e.g., fraud, duress) could invalidate the agreement.
There are many financial incentives to signing a prenup, but it’s important that the process is done right. Let our Fort Mill, SC prenuptial lawyers assist.
Contact a Prenuptial Agreement Attorney in Fort Mill, SC Today
Whether you have children from a previous marriage, don’t want to take on other’s debts, or simply want to simplify potential divorce proceedings, creating a prenuptial agreement may be the right decision for you. People far too often assume these marital contracts are just for the ultra wealthy, but this is far from the case. You don’t need significant assets to benefit from an agreement to avoid drawn-out divorce proceedings should your relationship end. Why let such decisions be made in court when you can come to an agreement that both you and your partner can live with now?
At Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC, we’ve seen far too many divorces get messy. Child support and child custody issues already have the potential to make things difficult. In an equitable division state like South Carolina, though, matters can get much more challenging. Couples could end up dragging each other through the mud simply to get a higher share of the marital property. You can avoid many such issues by simply having an antenuptial agreement in place prior to getting married. In the event of a divorce, it’s in everyone’s best interests to have a plan ahead of time.
Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation by calling (803) 258-6449. Our prenuptial lawyers in Fort Mill, SC are here to assist.